Fields begin bouncing back from ‘big rains’


Well, it’s been a week-plus since the “big rain.” I had been in southern Ohio for a two-day conference when it happened (although we’d gotten a similar multi-inch rain before I’d left). I did a drive-around when I got back in the area, just to see what damage had been done. I was, and still am, dismayed by the drowned-out soybean and corn fields. You know, it hurts to see that. Probably because of my dairy/”critter” background, I’m hit especially hard by newly-cut or ripe/need-to-be-cut hay fields under water. If that doesn’t get harvested, what do we feed the cows?

I did a couple follow-up drives last week and things look better. Yes, there are still drowned-out areas that will not recover. Yes, there are still fields of corn that need nitrogen/have been affected by all that water. However, with the much-better weather, the beans were starting to green up; some of that hay got mowed and was being harvested, either as haylage or hay; there were fields of corn that looked great, and I saw some side-dressing being done Tuesday evening. We are bouncing back!

Two weeks ago I mentioned the OSU Weed Science Field Day being held at the Western Research Station in South Charleston on July 8. Well, that Research Station will be really busy in July: The Agronomy Field Day will be held the week after, on July 15th!

This field day begins with in-field sessions from 9 a.m. until noon. This will feature three one-hour talks and visits in the field at the researcher plots. The speakers and topics will include Anne Dorrance talking about reducing inputs for increased profits; John Fulton will show his work on plant response using precision planters to adjust seedling depth and hydraulic down pressure; and Laura Lindsey will review trials of micronutrient foliar applications to soybeans.

Over lunch in the Ag Research Station’s air-conditioned conference room, we’ll have time to visit and ask more questions. In the afternoon there will be a wagon tour of other projects on the station, four stops with speakers: Steve Culman discussing nine years of phosphorus and potassium fertilization trials in Ohio; Alex Lindsey showing Cover Crop Interseeding into Emerged Corn; Andy Michel & Ron Hammond will review issues with Seed corn maggot and Corn Rootworm; and Peter Thomison will discuss Exploiting Hybrid and Management Interactions for Higher Yields.

Pre-registration is requested by July 10 to get a count for lunch. The cost is $20 per person, payable at the door. Contact Harold Watters at 937-599-4227, watters.35@osu.edu to register.

OARDC Western Research Station is located about five miles south of Interstate 70 on Ohio 41, between Springfield and South Charleston: 7721 S. Charleston Pike/Ohio 41. This site does a lot of work on soils and conditions that closely resemble much of western Ohio cropping systems, a good opportunity to see what might work on your farm!

Yes, there are pros and cons to farming: We get to work outside – with Mother Nature – as we plant, nurture, and harvest our crops. We have the opportunity to make improvements every year, whether by better scouting, different seed genetics, or improved management. Yes, we get to work with Mother Nature, and we’re never sure what she’ll throw at us next – drought, floods, windstorms, hail, excess heat, superb growing weather, whatever! It’s anyone’s guess! We just need to “keep the faith” and be prepared for the set-backs!! Thank you, Farmers, for all you do!